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Home - Racism Report- Racism Report 2015

Summation

first Published  : 28/07/2015   Last Updated: 28/07/2015 

   

A thorough study of the report reveals an increase in incidents of racism, violence and incitement in the country. Racist incitement is usually led by or involves politicians and religious or social leaders. These cases of instigation and incitement originate mostly from political or religious rivalry; political, religious and social intolerance; and prejudice. Also, in large sections of the public, as well as among important decision makers, there are prominent racist stances towards weakened groups such as the Arab public, Ethiopians, Mizrahi Jews, migrant workers, asylum seekers and refugees. These stances generate gaps, create remoteness and alienation, and promote de-legitimization. Incitement against entire groups of the population and de-legitimization of their existence and full civil rights are established when the general public begins to take active parts in these campaigns.

The effects of the war and of the last electoral campaign are especially noticeable in the report findings of the relevant periods. The findings indicate that at least 160 documented cases out of 237 in different fields (racist legislation, racism of elected officials and opinion leaders, racism among citizens, racism in the elections and of the security forces) occurred during Operation Protective Edge (July-August 2014). Thus, 67.5% of the total documented cases in this year’s report happened in the two months of the war. This finding demonstrates the extreme influence of racist incitement that can lead to unbearable measures, endangering the general public. Furthermore, this mass of racist incidents can capture the public mind.  There is a danger that it may become the common norm of accepted racism.

This report indicates a large increase in documented racist events this year (237 cases in total as opposed to 161 in the parallel chapters of the previous report) and a marked increase of racist events towards the Arab public in Israel (192 in total as opposed to 113 in the parallel chapters of the previous report). It should be mentioned that there was also an increase in racism among elected officials and opinion leaders towards the Mizrahi public in Israel. While the previous report did not note any event, this report includes 5 events of racist incitement towards the Mizrahi public, and the election campaign for the 20th Knesset apparently had considerable influence. There was also an increase of the reported racist incidents towards Ethiopians amongst citizens but mainly by the police, while the previous report did not mention any events of this kind, this report states 9 events. On the other hand, the report shows a decrease of incidents involving refugees and work migrants, from 8 to 4 among elected officials and opinion leaders and from 18 to 5 among citizens.

It is not possible to summarize this report without asking the question: to what measure does a racist atmosphere and\or the qualification of it affects starting a war, especially when there are dozens of "price tag" incidents throughout the report that are also often reported by the police spokesmen ship.  These are not "price tag" incidents that happened in the occupied territories, but in Arab populated areas in Israel, such as the Galilee. One must consider the idea that these incidents preceding the July-August war prepared the ground for the war, with the help of a volatile atmosphere full of hostility and hate between Jews and Arabs in Israel.

On a more positive note, the repeated statements of the President of Israel, Reuven Rivlin, against violence are a breath of fresh air and of hope, and point to a possible solution for eradicating racism in its bluntest form and eliminating its devastating effects on society. Subversion to eradication of racism is possibly the only way to move forward towards peace in our region.